We are coming into Week 7 of our 12 week faculty course, Web Based Teaching, and thanks to the return of my co-teacher, we are mostly caught up on back grading of assignments. We had to provide some mea-culpas as our stated turn around on grading had lapsed– a good part as I had to learn how to fumble my way through the WebCT grading.
This seems to me a whole lot of clicking. Click Manage Course. Click View Some Students. Click Deselect All Students. Click the 3 students I need to enter grades on. Scroll 3-4 screen widths to the right to find the item. Click Edit. Enter scores. Click Update. Now I am stuck seeing just these three students. Now have to select :View All Students form the top menu to get the full class view.
I can do this, but each “click” is another CGI script processed. It adds up.
But that was not my intent of this post. Based on one of our previous Attendance Quizzes (short quizzes we use to get feedback and quick checks on previous week’s work), it seemed the class wanted more detailed instructions. So last week;’s activities on finding Web Resources, I did that.
Now I can tell at the end of the week by the questions coming in from 2 students…. THEY ARE NOT READING THE INSTRUCTIONS AT ALL… so it does not matter how much detail I write??? If I do not clarify, or link them back to the instructions they did not read, am I not doing my job (could you follow the quadruple negatives).
Writing instructions seems to be like and endless task of whittling a stick. You keep cutting, turning, cutting, turning, and it just never seems quite as sharp as you think it can be. But at some point, you just stick a hotdog on the stick, and hang it over the fire., It is done.
I will try and share the simple assignments later as MLX packages. They are not that complex. It is simple search and scouting of relevant resources. One is creating and sharing a MERLOT personal collection (so they not only have to poke around the vineyard, they need to create an account, add some resources and write annotations). The second is search and discussion board posting of 3 MLX resources they could potentially use/adapt. The last was saving the results of a relavant Google Search as a web link. I am shocked people do not do this more often, likely the simplest way to exploit Google (in a good way).
The post "The Lost Art of Reading Directions" was originally pulled charred and crispy from a smoky charred oven at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2004/03/the-lost/) on March 28, 2004.